Money is a harsh god.
The thought occurred to me as I was walking the other day. I was worrying about money … something I often do. Being self-employed, I don’t have a steady paycheck. I’m never sure where my next project is coming from. And so, I worry.
The words from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 crossed my mind: “You can’t serve God and money.” I thought about money as an idol. As a god. In that moment, I realized how harsh a god money really is when we enthrone it in our lives.
As a god, money declares that we never have enough. Each time we get a bit of money to solve one problem, three other problems arise that demand more. And more.
What we do is never good enough – even our best is not enough – because we always must have a little bit more.
The future is dark. It is full of worst-case scenarios that need money, money, and more money. But you’ll never have enough to combat all the worries. You’ll never have enough to beat the anxiety.
Money is held out as a golden lure that keeps us running forward, stumbling over our feet as we keep our eyes on this elusive prize. But it is elusive, because as soon as we have it, we want more of it.
Money gives nothing – no peace, no hope, no purpose. It takes everything – our peace, our hope, our purpose.
Money as a god taunts us, mocks us, punishes us, and enslaves us.
In contrast, Jesus promises peace. Hope. Purpose. Freedom from worry and anxiety. Sufficiency for everything that comes our way, good or bad. He upholds us, encourages us, strengthens us, and emboldens us.
Jesus reminds us that there’s nothing wrong with money – as long as it’s not on the throne he alone has the right to claim.